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Fayetteville City Council Ponders Tethering Ban And Dog Bite Laws


Posted on Oct 16, 2009

Do North Carolina dog tethering laws help prevent dog bites, or do they cause them? How are North Carolina tethering laws even enforced? This month the Fayetteville City Council is taking on these important questions about their own dog bite laws that will affect dog bite safety across the city.

A countywide tethering ban took effect on August 1, and now the city of Fayetteville wonders if it should do the same.

Some argued that although tethering prevents dogs from wandering out of their yards, children and others can still wander into the territory of the dangerous dog. Six months ago, a small child was mauled to death by a pregnant pit bull who was tethered in her owner's yard - a fatal dog attack that would not have happened if the dog had been safely fenced. Four other tethered dog attacks have taken place in North Carolina over the past year. Many claim that tethered dogs are more aggressive than other dogs because they feel trapped and are more likely to lash out.

An opinion piece in the Fayetteville Observer pointed out that 17 percent of fatal dog attacks involve a tethered dog - and that others believe tethering dogs is inhumane. Others noted that fencing is expensive and that any law banning tethering dogs would be nearly impossible to enforce with only ten Animal Services employees on the payroll.

The City Council will hold a public hearing on tethering and dog bite laws on November 23.

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